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O'Sullivan favourite as top garda job opens to outsiders


Acting Garda Commissioner Noirin O'Sullivan

Acting Garda Commissioner Noirin O'Sullivan

Acting Garda Commissioner Noirin O'Sullivan

THE vacant post of Garda Commissioner is being advertised today and is expected to attract international candidates.

The new commissioner will be tasked with working alongside the new Garda Authority on policing issues.

But the successful candidate will be reporting to Justice Minister Frances Fitzgerald on security matters.

The position is being advertised by the Public Appointments Service, which has hired a commercial agency to head-hunt outside candidates.

The go-ahead for the open competition was given after the Cabinet issued its approval on Wednesday, after discussing the proposal put forward by Ms Fitzgerald.

The full job description will be outlined in the advertisements and it is expected that a closing deadline for applications will be set for around September 26.

Candidates who are head hunted by the agency will be assessed to determine if they should be added to a short-list, but cannot be guaranteed an interview. However, the move does not mean that an outsider is the preferred candidate for the post.

It became vacant last March, when outgoing commissioner Martin Callinan resigned after a controversial visit to his home at night from a senior civil servant, who had been directed there by Taoiseach Enda Kenny.

It was suggested during the visit that Mr Callinan would be unlikely to survive a Cabinet discussion the following morning on recent controversies that had impacted on the garda force.


The favourite internal candidate is Noirin O'Sullivan, who has been Interim Commissioner since Mr Callinan's departure, but it is likely that some of her senior management will also apply for the job.

The idea of an open competition was first suggested in a 2007 report from an advisory group on garda management and leadership development, but was not taken up by successive governments.

Irish Independent